Pac4Portugal Villa Walking Trails Sant Ana 3 tile

PR1-SLV - Historic Santa Ana Trail

If any of you know us and our walking, we are never great at following a trail. However, the trail of Santa Ana PR1-SLV was a surprising hidden treasure. Life is undoubtedly about learning, exploring, and having adventures. Consequently, we embraced the COVID-19 years, which was an excellent opportunity to discover areas away from the people. Messines has been a town for many years, and we have regarded it boring. However, in the past year, it has grown on us. Furthermore, we will write more posts about discoveries in the Messines and Silves areas.

We walk in a small group of 4, the Amorosa Amblers. Our 1st choice post-2021 lockdown was PR1-SLV, locally known as the Santa Ana (Sant' Ana) walk. We have undertaken this walk 3 or 4 times already but never the official trail. Nevertheless, we have a mission to add more official trails to the Pac4Portugal (Alex Cracknell) Wikiloc content.


Officially, the PR1-SLV is called the "Percurso Pedestre Culture de São Bartolomeu de Messines." It starts at the Primary School near the post office. A sandstone-curved path winds you up the hill (Penedo Grande) behind the town.

Carvoeiro Rental Villa Exploring by foot Silves Sant Ana Trilho

It was very green when we undertook the walk, and it felt like you were more in northern Europe than Portugal. For us, this 2,7km loop was a true hidden treasure, and we want to return and explore it more. At the top, you will see a "Torre de Vigia. Viewpoint:" You can see up to Alentejo and down the sea on a clear day. Unfortunately, it was not like that for us, but the views were still great.

Carvoeiro Rental Villa Exploring by foot Silves torre de vigia


After Penedo Grande, you wander through the outskirts of Messines towards the west. Then, the walk along the side of the main railway line to Lisboa starts. A 1.8km gravel track allows you to see some of the relaxed country life of the Portuguese. You cut across a stream, which in the summer is no problem, but after rain, you may choose the stepping stone method. Fortunately, it was only about an inch deep (but slippery), so most of us decided to walk through it.

Carvoeiro Rental Villa Exploring by foot Silves Sant Ana Trilho

The next challenge comes another 600m winding away and then back to the railway. The river, most times of the year, you can walk through (as pictured far right). Nonetheless, unlike the picture, it was challenging as it was full of water. If you are careful, it is possible to cross using the railway bridge (at your own risk).


Once on the other side, the ascent starts to Santa Ana. We usually go the short, steep way, but we followed the gravel road this time and wound up to it. Santa Ana church these days is just a ruin, but significant elements are still to be seen. A tile of Santa Ana (pictured right) is at the back. To the front is a stone on the floor, "Requiescant in Pace," Latin for RIP. Underneath are the bodies of around 100 soldiers. Just up and in front of the church, you will find a painted tile showing the battle points (pictured below). The battle of Sant'Ana was held on 24 April 1984 between the Miguelistas (supporters of King Miguel I) and the Liberals (Constitutionalists).

Carvoeiro Rental Villa Exploring by foot Silves Sant Ana church


You are leaving the Santa Ana church; the trail winds uphill a little (if you want a slight detour, go to the trig point). Then, the path wanders down and along the River Arade. It was a pleasant trail, and we were lucky to see the river about 70% complete. Besides, as you leave the river, you will pass the house as pictured right; on a sunny day, the colors are unique.

Carvoeiro Rental Villa Exploring by foot Silves Sant Ana Casas


At about the 9.2km walk mark, you have around 400m on the tarmac. Then, you turn off to the right to start the ascent towards Messines. This continues with beautiful countryside and significant areas you want to explore. After 1km, you come to a cross point of two trails. However, we turn left, follow the small tarmac road, and through Bairro do Furadouro. You will see a charming little church by the railway track on the hill. We now cross the railway track and start to enter Messines town again.

Carvoeiro Rental Villa Exploring by foot Silves Sant Ana marked trial


Yet there is still more. About 100m after you pass the start of the no-entry for cars (one-way system), you turn left. We know this part well, as do our fantastic physiotherapists (Paula and Ines) to the right of the turning. Together, they keep all four members of the Amorosa Amblers moving.

The small cobble streets lead you through the old town. You are passing the birthplace of Joao de Deus, a famous Portuguese poet. A little further along, you will also pass the town church. Do not follow our map now; go back to the old part. You will see the Joao de Deus museum, an impressive-looking building. Without a doubt, in the future, we will add a post about him and discovering Messine's old town. You pass the cemetery on the right as you leave the old city. Finally, after a few hundred meters, you are at the end of the 12.5km (officially) walk.

Carvoeiro Rental Villa Exploring by foot Silves Joao de deus poet

We hope you have enjoyed this insight into the PR1-SLV Santa Ana trail and look forward to sharing more. Furthermore, we expect some friends and clients to continue this route with us. Last but not least, explore, have adventures, and feel alive!